Jump to content

Generators


CarpetCrawler
 Share

Recommended Posts

CarpetCrawler

I'm seriously thinking about buying one. Anyone have experiences or advice to share?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, CarpetCrawler said:

I'm seriously thinking about buying one. Anyone have experiences or advice to share?

 

Good question C.C.

 

I am thinking of investing in one also.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

RochesterRob
6 minutes ago, CarpetCrawler said:

I'm seriously thinking about buying one. Anyone have experiences or advice to share?

  Generators are sold on the basis of the wattage put out.  Volts X amps = watts.  The service tags on your appliances and household devices will tell the wattage required to operate them.  The next issue is are you going to run extension cords or run through your breaker box?  Storage of generator and place of operation.  If kept inside it needs plenty of ventilation to avoid issues with CO emissions.  Modern gas or diesel will require skills above shade tree mechanic to deal with.  I'm set on a generator but if I were buying today I would most likely look at a Kubota diesel unit.  5-7.5 kW used to be 4-5 thousand but most likely at least 1.5 to 1.75 times that money today and who knows on availability.  Some would leave outside but that is an invitation to thieves and a quick load up for them.  Build a shed if not in the garage and a shed will minimize CO problems to people and pets.  Location away from the road to minimize being seen by the curious and the crooked.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whole house or portable?
 

We just had a portable delivered yesterday. There are dual fuel models (propane or gas) available these days. I hope we never have to use it.
 

As soon as natural gas is available in our subdivision (“soon”) we will have one installed.  A whole house generator can also be used with a propane tank if natural gas is unavailable (our plan B). A guy a few blocks away had a large propane tank sunk (our HOA mandates they be buried) to run his whole house generator.

 

 The one we had installed in our NY house could power the whole house, but if both air conditioners were running one had to be shut off (we were ok with that). It was a fairly large home. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

MothersMilk
On 6/15/2022 at 8:37 PM, CarpetCrawler said:

I'm seriously thinking about buying one. Anyone have experiences or advice to share?

A lot of people down here in Florida have them but they are mainly only used during hurricane season, and IF a hurricane rolls through. Not sure what your intent is with one but a good gas powered Honda is around $800-$1,000. As far as the thievery mentioned above its not really an issue anymore than a lawnmower or a grill is... just store it away like anything else when not in use. If it is in use and your light or tv or whatever turns off its either the generator is low on oil, out of gas, or someone at that exact moment is trying to steal it. Which would be pretty dumb really lol, its not like no one will notice at that point in time.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CarpetCrawler
22 hours ago, Ann said:

Whole house or portable?
 

We just had a portable delivered yesterday. There are dual fuel models (propane or gas) available these days. I hope we never have to use it.
 

As soon as natural gas is available in our subdivision (“soon”) we will have one installed.  A whole house generator can also be used with a propane tank if natural gas is unavailable (our plan B). A guy a few blocks away had a large propane tank sunk (our HOA mandates they be buried) to run his whole house generator.

 

 The one we had installed in our NY house could power the whole house, but if both air conditioners were running one had to be shut off (we were ok with that). It was a fairly large home. 

 

Portable at this point. The dual fuel sounds interesting. Everything seems so unsettled with the economy and fuel prices, it just seems like a good idea to have a back up. What brand did you buy? Do you have any recommendation on wattage?

 

MothersMilk mentioned Honda, which I know is pretty much the gold standard, But I don't think I'm willing to plunk down that much. They have some "affordable" generators at Harbor Freight that they model after the Hondas, But I know there is no real comparison.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, CarpetCrawler said:

 

Portable at this point. The dual fuel sounds interesting. Everything seems so unsettled with the economy and fuel prices, it just seems like a good idea to have a back up. What brand did you buy? Do you have any recommendation on wattage?

 

MothersMilk mentioned Honda, which I know is pretty much the gold standard, But I don't think I'm willing to plunk down that much. They have some "affordable" generators at Harbor Freight that they model after the Hondas, But I know there is no real comparison.

 

 


 

1200 kw dual fuel is what we got. I will look in the garage for the brand tomorrow.  Hubby bought it from Walmart, but it is a temporary, this year only, purchase ( I am getting a whole house generator by hook or by crook). 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

CarpetCrawler
14 minutes ago, Ann said:


 

1200 kw dual fuel is what we got. I will look in the garage for the brand tomorrow.  Hubby bought it from Walmart, but it is a temporary, this year only, purchase ( I am getting a whole house generator by hook or by crook). 

Good plan, after Hurricane Sandy we had no power for 5 days, thank goodness for our gas fireplace because it got chilly afterwards and a lot of neighbors had to go to hotels. The town was giving out blocks of dry ice so we managed to keep everything in the refrigerator safe. It was impossible to find a generator anywhere then. Almost all my friends up in the Adirondacks have the whole house systems, most are Generac. I imagine the Walmart generators are similar to the ones at Harbor Freight. Waiting for a better sale. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

MothersMilk

Walmart and Harbor Freight mostly sell low end merchandise... similar to buying a John Deere mower at Home Depot. One other thing I can mention is that if you or anyone gets a gas operated generator Always use ethanol free gasoline. Same goes with all small engine tools... weedeaters, mowers, chainsaws, etc. Ethanol isn't kind to small motors at all.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ExiledInIllinois
26 minutes ago, MothersMilk said:

Walmart and Harbor Freight mostly sell low end merchandise... similar to buying a John Deere mower at Home Depot. One other thing I can mention is that if you or anyone gets a gas operated generator Always use ethanol free gasoline. Same goes with all small engine tools... weedeaters, mowers, chainsaws, etc. Ethanol isn't kind to small motors at all.

So many myths about fuel going "bad"... It won't go bad no matter what kind it is.  Just practice the right habits.

 

Gonna sound weird... But keep the fuel tank full and run the carb out by closing the fuel peacock to off... Or keep it empty... No fuel at all, which is okay but probably worse than keeping full 

 

I just keep the tanks full and never had a bad fuel problem.  My mower... Sits all winter like that, same with 4500 watt genset... Never a problem with fuel, ethanol or not. 

 

Keeping the tank full when not in use will keep the lines wet and won't dry, varnish up AND most importantly won't let condensation form in a partially filled tank.

 

https://www.berrymanproducts.com/reasons-to-keep-your-gas-tank-full/

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Cheers 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've dealt with this issue for years and finally got a whole house Generac 22kw.

 

I've had fairly robust portables for years, and still use one in my barn, but they simply don't have the power to handle the house.

The Mrs. has been bugging me to do it for years, but a five day outage after a Jan 2 snowstorm this year put me over the top.

I bought the 22kw last March with two transfer units connected to the service panel in my garage.

It's set up to automatically run for five minutes every other Sat morning to keep it fresh, but other than that, it hasn't come on, until a thunderstorm last week

We lost power for about one hour and it functioned perfectly. In fact, I didn't even notice the power swap until I went outside and heard it. Power was restored and it shut down just as advertised.

I built my own level platform for it.

LP gets a bit more wattage output than nat gas.

  • FANtastic 1
  • Cheers 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, CarpetCrawler said:

Good plan, after Hurricane Sandy we had no power for 5 days, thank goodness for our gas fireplace because it got chilly afterwards and a lot of neighbors had to go to hotels. The town was giving out blocks of dry ice so we managed to keep everything in the refrigerator safe. It was impossible to find a generator anywhere then. Almost all my friends up in the Adirondacks have the whole house systems, most are Generac. I imagine the Walmart generators are similar to the ones at Harbor Freight. Waiting for a better sale. 


Our whole house generator was a Kohler 12K kw.  As @Sherpa described above it had its own panel and transfer switch. We had it maintained yearly and a new battery installed every other year. The pad it sat on was poured concrete, but they now sell pads them already premade and at correct thickness. 

 

  • Cheers 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

KD in CA

Size really depends what you need it for.  When I lived in CT, we had to account for heat, hot water, well pump, etc., and had several multi-day outages after hurricanes/winter storms.  So I got a 5500 watt gas generator (~$1000 at the time) and paid an electrician to wire into my fuse box.  Allowed me to run basically everything.  

 

Here in CA w/ gas and very mild weather, I barely need anything except domestic household so a smaller inverter portable unit with few extension cords is fine.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RochesterRob
14 hours ago, MothersMilk said:

A lot of people down here in Florida have them but they are mainly only used during hurricane season, and IF a hurricane rolls through. Not sure what your intent is with one but a good gas powered Honda is around $800-$1,000. As far as the thievery mentioned above its not really an issue anymore than a lawnmower or a grill is... just store it away like anything else when not in use. If it is in use and your light or tv or whatever turns off its either the generator is low on oil, out of gas, or someone at that exact moment is trying to steal it. Which would be pretty dumb really lol, its not like no one will notice at that point in time.

 

 

  Sorry, but I have to comment.  Plenty of items such as mowers, generators, and grills along with power tools get stolen.  It's not some guy from the inner city kicking in doors or doing daring raids but usually somebody you know operating in stealth or that somebody you know inadvertently mentioning it to crooks.  I have been on the end of being a victim to such a situation.  It would be pretty dumb to think that you are impervious to crime.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RochesterRob
12 hours ago, CarpetCrawler said:

 

Portable at this point. The dual fuel sounds interesting. Everything seems so unsettled with the economy and fuel prices, it just seems like a good idea to have a back up. What brand did you buy? Do you have any recommendation on wattage?

 

MothersMilk mentioned Honda, which I know is pretty much the gold standard, But I don't think I'm willing to plunk down that much. They have some "affordable" generators at Harbor Freight that they model after the Hondas, But I know there is no real comparison.

 

 

  You really should not take blindshots as to what you need for wattage.  It is simple math.  Just add up the wattage of the crucial items in your house then decide if you want to cover all the bases.  So many people just opt for the 5000 watt special at Lowe's then are disappointed that it cannot handle the electric stove, refrigerator, furnace, base board heater(s), electric water heater, and etc. all at the same time.  Then dad goes into melt down when the wife and kids harass him as to why the house cannot run as normal.  Honda is very good on most products but local service support is very important.  Hit or miss as to a Honda supporting dealer being close by if you need them.  One reason why I mentioned Kubota as they are supported out in the rural areas typically.  

  • Cheers 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

KD in CA
37 minutes ago, RochesterRob said:

  You really should not take blindshots as to what you need for wattage.  It is simple math.  Just add up the wattage of the crucial items in your house then decide if you want to cover all the bases.  So many people just opt for the 5000 watt special at Lowe's then are disappointed that it cannot handle the electric stove, refrigerator, furnace, base board heater(s), electric water heater, and etc. all at the same time.  Then dad goes into melt down when the wife and kids harass him as to why the house cannot run as normal.  Honda is very good on most products but local service support is very important.  Hit or miss as to a Honda supporting dealer being close by if you need them.  One reason why I mentioned Kubota as they are supported out in the rural areas typically.  

 

"What do you mean we shouldn't run the microwave, oven and dryer at the same time, I thought the generator was working."

😄

 

A little common sense load management goes a long way during a blackout.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

RochesterRob
4 minutes ago, KD in CA said:

 

"What do you mean we shouldn't run the microwave, oven and dryer at the same time, I thought the generator was working."

😄

 

A little common sense load management goes a long way during a blackout.

  One of my previous careers was as a inside salesman that sold power equipment among other items.  I can tell you that common sense is far from abundant in the general population.  It always happened that several people would come back following an outage bitching about a generator because it would not handle the household.  The salespeople would always try to cover household demand to a customer but were often greeted with closed ears.  Just write me up for the store special so I can be on my way they would say.  Don't get me started on duty cycle for power equipment.  If your compressor is rated for 50/50 that does not mean you can run it for 12 hours straight then rest it the next 12 hours.  Some things are rated in 10 minute cycles.  The owner's manual is your friend.  

  • Like 1
  • Cheers 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IDBillzFan

Two quick notes of experience, having not read everyone else's comments:

 

(1) If you get a portable one, absolutely ensure it runs on both gas AND propane. A tank of propane takes you MUCH farther than a tank of gas.

 

(2) We got a whole-house Generac put in when we moved to N. Idaho, primarily because when we do lose power, we tend to lose it for days at a time, and second because we're on a private well. No power, no pump, no water. It's fed directly by our natural gas and has 100% saved our bacons multiple times. The last power outage we had lasted 5 days. We paid about $15K, soup to nuts, three years ago. I shudder to think what it would cost now.

  • Cheers 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, IDBillzFan said:

 We paid about $15K, soup to nuts, three years ago. I shudder to think what it would cost now.

 

Not sure what KW capacity you had installed, but my 22KW, installed last year and powers the entire house with very minor common sense management.

Ended up at about the $8K range, all in.

Purchased the Generac 22KW, had a licensed gas guy connect the plumbing, and an electrician do the connection to the two transfer panels and the CB service panels.

I was quoted abut $12k from a whole house generator outfit, but did it my way.

 

I had a 5KW portable which provided 10 circuits that I wired into the service panel. Worked fine, but didn't have the capacity I now need, and I didn't trust the stability of the volts/freqs output.

You could hear the thing surge or unload  with demand changes, and I wasn't comfortable with it powering electronics.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Guidelines